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Environment needs not be stumbling block in UK–EU agreement

27 July 2020

The EU Environment Sub-Committee writes to Secretary of State George Eustice MP to summarise the key findings from its inquiry on Environment and the Level Playing Field in the UKEU negotiations.


In June and July this year, the Committee took evidence from industry, environment NGOs, and environment, climate and trade law specialists as part of its Environment and the Level Playing Field inquiry.

Key findings

The Committee has now written to the Secretary of State with its key findings, including:

  • Environment and climate change need not be a stumbling block given the UK and EU's similar ambitions
  • Lack of trust is the biggest barrier to a breakthrough on the environment and climate change parts of a UKEU agreement
  • The Government should consider domestic measures to build trust, such as strengthening the environmental principles and the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) in the Environment Bill, and cooperate with the devolved administrations to develop compatible arrangements
  • An agreement is possible which addresses EU concerns without restricting the Government's ability to increase ambition or to choose different policies to achieve the same goals
  • We hope and expect that EU negotiators are open to clarifying that environmental non-regression would allow for independent policy-making in the UK

Chair of the Committee, Lord Teverson, also emphasised:

"We, the UK, should use the level playing field provisions to ensure that the EU does not in future backslide on its climate commitments."

Further information